'Nike+ Kinect Training' is a legit workout

October, 11, 2012
10/11/12
12:01
AM ET
Nike + KinectCourtesy of MicrosoftThrough Xbox Live, players can work out with friends (or strangers) and challenge them in 60-second drills.
LeBron James, Rafael Nadal, Hope Solo and Larry Fitzgerald are just some of the elite athletes who train at Nike facilities.

Now anyone can get Nike-level training without leaving the living room through a new video game that hopes to redefine personal training on a gaming console.

"Nike+ Kinect Training" for Xbox 360, available Oct. 30, begins with an initial full-body assessment that takes about 15 minutes and is based on the input of Nike trainers Marie Purvis and Alex Molden.

[+] EnlargeNike
Courtesy of Microsoft"Nike+ Kinect Training" is available Oct. 30.
The evaluation, which took about two years to develop, is so comprehensive it can even tell if you've had an injury. The app uses the assessment to create a personalized workout, regardless of fitness level. The average workout is 30-40 minutes, but you can choose 15-20 minute sessions or even a quick five-minute workout.

For the competitive among us, there is a social element to the game. The game gives you the option to work out with friends by tapping in to Xbox Live, allowing you to challenge and chat with friends and compete in 60-second drills with people across the globe. You can check your stats after the drill to see where you stand.

Over time, your workouts will change with your fitness level. Fitness assessments occur every four weeks to keep you on target, and you can send friends encouragement via Facebook and through an accompanying "Nike+ Kinect Training" mobile app. The app also allows you to keep track of your progress.

I had a sneak peek of the game and have to say it was more immersive than any other fitness video game I have tried or seen in the past. The hands-free motion sensing is a bonus.

[+] EnlargeKinect 2
Courtesy of Microsoft"Nike + Kinect" trainer Alex Molden played eight NFL seasons as a cornerback.
One thing to note: Plan on actually moving. The assessment involves more than 100 drills, including high knees, planks, dodging balls, sit-ups and squats. Don’t take my word for it -- Eagles WR DeSean Jackson and Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson have tried the game and stand behind it.

There is one challenge to "Nike+ Kinect Training," at least for those like me, who live in New York City apartments with limited space: The movements require room -- which, I suppose, is an added workout, moving all your furniture around before and after your session.
Katie Linendoll is an Emmy Award-winning technology expert contributing to ESPN, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. She contributes tech segments to CNN and hosts a tech show on Spike TV. She has a degree in Information Technology New Media from Rochester Institute of Technology and is a diehard Buffalo Bills fan.

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